NorthStar’s mission is to provide integrative and effective portfolio management by connecting social concerns to stock selection, asset allocation, and activism.
Our investment management process begins with an analysis of the social, ecological, and political problems of our time and includes deep conversations with our clients. These steps result in the construction of personalized portfolios that integrate financial goals with security analysis and selection processes while upholding a commitment to social change and environmental sustainability.
How We Do It
We begin by working with the client to determine targets for how much of his or her portfolio should be split among equity investments, fixed income investments, and cash (or other liquid instruments that can easily convert to cash). These tailored allocations are created based upon the client’s ability to take on risk, investment time horizon, and cash needs.
Our selection process actively seeks out companies with positive practices and characteristics, and eliminates companies with negative aspects that we consider unacceptable under any circumstance. We strive to identify and invest in companies with social, environmental, and governance practices that support the long-term viability and strength of the companies’ businesses. As you can read about in more detail on our Creating Change page, we also pursue a variety of engagements with the companies in which we invest to improve the company’s positions and policies on environmental sustainability, human rights, diversity, employee relations, immigration, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.
Our fixed income investments fall into three categories: investment grade bonds, community loan funds, and micro or alternative lending. Ideally, we invest in a broad range of fixed-income options guided by the clients’ financial and risk constraints. We look to provide funding for a variety of projects, weighing interest rate risk, maturity, safety, and social impact.
Our goal is to engage along the whole spectrum of financial activity, from equities, to loans and loan guarantees, to supporting local businesses, to finding private alternatives, and finally through philanthropy.
Some clients seek opportunities outside the public equity and publicly available fixed income space. These clients are accredited investors with an interest in venture capital, local funding initiatives, and other forms of impact investment vehicles outside of the realm of publicly traded securities. We incorporate fixed income investments such as community loan funds and micro-lending corporate bonds, as well as other outside investments into their portfolios. Examples of such investments in private companies and socially significant projects include renewable energy, clean water, healthy foods, and sustainable farming, ranching and forestry.
NorthStar is profoundly client-centered. We form important relationships with clients around every facet of their financial lives. We introduce younger clients with inherited wealth to the opportunities and challenges of responsible investing and help them navigate family relationships and money. We help clients in the LGBT community navigate legal obstacles related to property and inheritance. We provide financial education to clients who left financial matters to their spouses. We help our progressive clients negotiate their financial lives in a world filled with income inequality and complicated solutions. We listen to every client’s aspirations and create a customized portfolio that reflects their vision for change.
Every client at NorthStar has a unique allocation of investments. The target allocation for each client in stocks/fixed income/cash varies widely depending on the client’s personal risk tolerance, income needs, and any assets outside of NorthStar (trusts, bank accounts, company sponsored retirement plans, etc.). Tracking performance at NorthStar is also a unique exercise. Our goal is to provide our clients with a way of determining how their investments are performing relative to the market, and how those accounts have performed relative to the appropriate benchmarks. Our performance is measured against traditional benchmarks and is available upon request, even though some of our investments are outside the scope of these benchmarks. We are happy to discuss our performance and metrics with any potential clients.
Becoming a Client
NorthStar welcomes individuals, families, trusts, and not-for-profit organizations who are interested in socially responsible investing. We are highly client-oriented, and work with those who share our values and appreciate our approach. To learn more about our firm’s unique approach to progressive wealth management, please contact us at (617) 522-2635 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We prefer to accept investment management clients with portfolios greater than $5 million, and our maximum fee is 1% of managed assets.